Reduce your carbon footprint and save £££'s on your future energy bills with our top eco-friendly home improvements
If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact, now’s the time to do it. With the launch of Government incentives such as the Green Homes Grant, we’ve put together our top ‘green home’ improvement tips to help make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your carbon footprint.
Upgrade your insulation
With nearly 40% of all household heat lost due to poor insulation, ensuring that your home is properly insulated should be at the top of your to-do list. Even though this may be one of the more pricey improvements you’ll need to make, insulation can be effective for at least 40 years and save you £££’s on your heating bill each winter.
Top tip – If you don’t currently have insulation installed or it doesn’t reach the recommended level, it’s worth checking to see if you qualify for government help through the ‘Green Homes Grant’ Scheme. This scheme offers homeowners in England a helping hand in making their homes' energy-efficient by providing vouchers worth up to £5,000. Full details can be found on the GOV website.
Opt for double or triple glazing
A typical house loses roughly 10% of heat through the windows and homes that have single glazing feel so much colder compared to those with double or triple glazing. The reason for this is that with only one pane of glass separating inside and outside air, heat is allowed to escape more easily.
Double or triple glazed windows may seem like quite an investment however you’ll save a lot of money over the years by reducing your energy bill by anywhere between 50 to 74% by making this upgrade.
Top tip – As with insulation, the government-backed ‘Green Homes Grant’ Scheme could help towards the total cost of upgrading your current window depending on your circumstances. Check the Gov website for full details.
Install solar panels
Solar panel systems can be used to produce hot water or generate electricity for your home by making use of natural daylight all year round. The good news is that they also generate energy on cloudy days too which is perfect with our famous British weather.
These panels need to be fitted either on the roof or a wall that ideally faces South and typically cost around £6,000 to install. The Energy Saving Trust estimates you could save between £85 and £220 a year on your bill based on a typical four-kWp system.
Green points – If installing solar panels isn’t an option for you but you’re still worried about your carbon footprint, switching your energy provider to a 100% renewable one is the next best thing. Plus their tariffs tend to more competitive when compared with the big six.
Did you know that you can continue making your home green when it comes to adding that fresh coat of paint to a tired room? Most eco-paints are also water-soluble and are coloured using pigments from natural minerals and plants. This is good news when it comes to washing brushes and rollers after use.
Companies such as Earthborn, Graphenstone and Keim offer eco-friendly alternatives to traditional paints with low VOC (volatile organic compound), organic and natural plant-based options with the cost not being too different when compared with leading brands.
Did you know? – Volatile Organic Compound commonly known as VOCs are usually found in many building materials and are one of the reasons for that ‘new paint’ smell. However, these unstable chemicals let off gasses which are harmful to people and the environment meaning that the government regulates their use.
Don’t waste water
If you’d like to reduce your water usage, installing a water meter is a great way to keep an eye on the amount your household uses. Plus updating your toilet to a low-flush model or changing your shower head to a low-flow version are super-easy solutions.
If you need a helping hand with some of the more ambitious home improvements, our low cost home improvement loans start from as little as 3.5% APR Representative between £5,000 and £25,000.
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